At the SMSF National Conference we heard James O’Halloran, Deputy Commissioner of Superannuation give a speech outlining the areas of focus for the balance of the financial year. The speech confirmed that a key component of the ATO is education to prevent breaches before they occur, especially in light of the recent superannuation reforms, but with some specific enforcement priorities.
In 2017, the Gforce Group (incorporating People@Work) commissioned a research project to understand trends within workplaces in Geelong, with information collected through interviews with human resources representatives from medium to large organisations.
All businesses increasingly rely on other service providers to deliver their products and services, and even a small business will have a surprisingly large supply chain made of many large and small suppliers (who of course have many of their own suppliers).
In a Fair Work Commission hearing in December 2017, Deputy President Val Gostencnik found that under Australian law, Uber drivers are independent contractors, and therefore ineligible for unfair dismissal protection.
Not every small business owner has the time to think through legal issues that could make or break their business. However, there are some important legal tips that every business owner should be aware of to avoid time consuming and expensive issues down the track. To assist the time poor, we have put together 10 legal tips to help small business mitigate business risk and achieve their commercial goals .
Equity crowd funding has taken some first, tentative practical steps. The new crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime that started at the end of October 2017 - designed to reduce costs and red-tape for start-ups and SMEs looking to raise capital from a large number of small investors – is still being tweaked, as proprietary companies were excluded from eligibility. This will be rectified with a bill currently before the Parliament.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a media release warning the financial advice sector about the consequences of binding death benefit nominations (BDBNs) not being signed and witnessed correctly.
In a move welcomed by SMSF trustees (and their advisors!) the ATO has announced the extension of the lodgment date for self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) annual returns for the 2016/17 year to 30 June 2018. The ATO has confirmed that because 30 June 2018 falls on a Saturday, lodgment can occur on Monday 2 July 2018 without penalties.
Do you own a unit in Noosa, a villa in Tuscany, or a ski-lodge in Japan, or hanker for such luxuries? It is increasingly common for people to own assets in other states or other countries. This can create complications for their wills and estates.
A broad interpretation of the definition of a retail lease in Victoria has again been supported by the courts. Section 4(1) of the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) (RLA) defines 'retail premises' to include 'the sale or hire of goods by retail or the retail provision of services' but does not further define these terms.
Cyber security experts counsel us that it’s a matter of when, not if your data will be compromised in some way either maliciously or by accident. The opportunity for personal information to be lost only increases as businesses store greater and greater amounts of electronic information and outsource marketing, HR and operational activities to third parties without considering how they will protect information entrusted to them.
In Commissioner of Taxation v Miley, the Federal Court overturned a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) concerning the method for valuing shares in applying the maximum net asset value (MNAV) test in s 152-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
In the growing world of online marketing, and with the increased public profile and popularity of our athletes, there is increased value and interest in the name and image of professional sportspeople.
The recent case of FCT v Hacon illustrates the practical difficulties in obtaining a private ruling that depends on assumptions about future events - in particular, in the context of the application of the anti-avoidance provisions in Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.
From 1 July 2018 purchasers of new residential premises or of new subdivisions of potential residential land that are taxable supplies will be required to pay 1/11th of the purchase price directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at settlement, if the exposure draft legislation released by the Government on 6 November 2017 passes in its current form. Subject to limited exceptions under proposed transitional rules, the new GST withholding obligation will apply even if a vendor applies the GST margin scheme.
In May 2017, the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) found the accountant’s client, the operator of a Japanese restaurant chain in Melbourne, underpaid its workers and thereby contravened the Fair Work Act. Critically though, the judge found the accounting firm, which provided the restaurant with book-keeping services, knew its client underpaid its employees and had ‘deliberately shut its eye as to what was going on’.
Uncertainty had arisen earlier this year as to whether companies with passive investments (including ‘bucket’ companies) would be eligible for the lower company tax rate of 27.5% based on the requirement in section 23AA of the Income Tax Rates Act 1986 that they were “carrying on a business.”
Geelong law firm Harwood Andrews celebrated its 175th birthday in October 2017, making it nine years older than the state of Victoria, and 17 years older than the Geelong Football Club. And, like the famed Cats, Harwood Andrews can lay claim to being significantly woven into Geelong’s social fabric, in fact even more so than the club that formed at the Victoria Hotel in 1859.
You never know if or when you might lose capacity, that is, lose the ability to manage your affairs. For example, you could be in a serious accident, you could suffer a stroke, or you could develop dementia. You might lose capacity temporarily or permanently.
All businesses and employers need to be aware of the recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act). The amendments were part of a number of changes made by Parliament in the wake of recent underpayment scandals, particularly those involving prominent franchise operations.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) published the final version of the Practical Compliance Guidelines (PCG) 2016/16, which provides guidance in relation to what will be considered by the Commissioner when exercising his discretion to treat an interest in the income or capital of a trust as being a fixed entitlement, and by extension whether a trust is a fixed trust for most tax law purposes.
In the case of MSAUS v FC of T the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) recently held that Division 135 of the A New Tax System \Goods and Services Tax Act (GST Act) did not apply to impose an increasing adjustment (an amount of GST on an otherwise GST-free transaction) to the sale of leased residential apartments.
The 2017 The Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards were held on Friday, September 1st at the Star in Sydney. Harwood Andrews was again announced as the winner of the best Regional/Suburban Law firm of the Year for 2017.